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Foto: Diana Dimbueni © Diana Dimbueni

Fieldwork. Refugee experiences in Antwerp

7.11.2019 - 3.8.2020

Antwerp is getting ready for celebrating 75 years of liberation and the remembrance of the end of World War Two. The last surviving witnesses are dying out. However, in our city there are young people who can bear witness to war, hunger and dictatorships. Newcomers, who have come to our country as refugees. In a time in which more is spoken about them rather than with them, their stories are worth hearing.

The Red Star Line Museum sent ten fieldworkers to task. Young talents that have very little to do with the classical museum sector. However, they do indeed have the network and the power of persuasion to win the trust of people that are still in search of trying to find their place within our society. Together, they have made some forty interviews with recent refugees on camera: conversations about their place of origin, departure, the path to Belgium and their new lives amongst us. These are stories from all around the world about fear, sufferings and danger, but also about courage, resilience, the power of imagination and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

The presentation in 'De Loods' (The Shed) provides an image of the breadth, depth, humanity and relevance of these stories. Visitors can poke around amongst a selection of the interview recordings, which are conserved by the museum as resources for posterity. Central to the presentation is a film that one of the fieldworkers, Andres Lübbert, made for the project. Being himself a son of a refugee from Chile in the 1970s, he combines his family's story with the pieces from the collected interviews into a reflection of the loneliness and alienation that the newcomer experiences. The second highlight is the monumental series of drawings made by one of the persons interviewed, Saïf 'Dumuzy' Lama'a, about his flight from Mosul over the Mediterranean Sea and the Balkan route in 2015.

Practical information

  • 7.11.2019 - 3.08.2020
  • in De Loods

Photograph © Diana Dimbueni 


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